Home Business Clipper Logistics welcomes possible £ 1bn offer from US rival GXO

Clipper Logistics welcomes possible £ 1bn offer from US rival GXO

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Ecommerce specialist Clipper Logistics plans to accept a potential cash-and-share takeover offer by New York-listed GXO Logistics that would value the British group at £ 943mn.

Clipper, which processes orders for Asos, H&M and Marks and Spencer, has agreed to GXO’s proposal to pay 690p in cash and issue 230p of new GXO stock for each Clipper share. This represents a 32 per cent premium to the Leeds-based company’s three-month average share price, the groups said in a joint statement on Sunday.

GXO is yet to make a firm offer but Clipper’s board confirmed to its rival that it would accept an offer on those terms.

If the deal goes ahead, it would cement GXO’s position at the center of British supply chains and online retail, adding to its acquisition of Swiss rival Kuehne + Nagel’s UK contract logistics business in 2020.

The fragmented logistics sector has witnessed a flurry of dealmaking in recent months with container shipping lines such as Maersk using bumper profits to snap up logistics businesses.

GXO’s chief executive Malcolm Wilson said: “This potential acquisition would enhance GXO’s position as a successful pure-play logistics leader. Our two companies have highly complementary service offerings, customer portfolios, and footprints in the UK and Europe. ”

Clipper was founded in 1992 by Steve Parkin, a former coal miner who started the business with just one truck. It listed in London in 2014 with a market capitalization of £ 100mn.

In 2020, plans for private equity group Sun Capital to buy the group were shelved after they disagreed over a £ 300mn price tag.

Clipper’s turnover has doubled since 2017 and its shares have trebled since the onset of the pandemic, which supercharged growth in online shopping.

Logistics companies say the complexity of ecommerce has driven retailers to outsource warehousing and supply chain operations to specialist providers.

Clipper runs warehouses for retailers in the UK and Europe, particularly those in the fashion sector, helping them process online orders, including returns, and repairs for electronics.

It had been planning to expand in the US where GXO has a large presence.

The deal could result in a £ 104mn payout as well as shares in GXO for Parkin, who owns a 14.7 per cent stake in the business. He sold a 10 per cent shareholding last year for about £ 62mn.

He has been interested in buying Leeds United football club, where his company sponsors the training kit.

GXO was spun-off from trucking group XPO Logistics last year in order to focus on warehousing and picking, packing and distributing goods for big brand names such as Nestlé, Apple and Nike.

It had $ 7.9bn in revenues last year, making it one of the world’s largest contract logistics providers.

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